Thursday, May 24, 2007

Onward, Christian Soldiers...

The Blog | Max Blumenthal: Diary of a Christian Terrorist | The Huffington Post

Visitors to Mark David Uhl's Myspace page will quickly learn that Uhl is a student at Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, that he is a devoted Christian, that his name means "Mighty Warrior" -- and that he likes Will Smith's saccharine tear-up-the-club track, "Switch." Uhl reveals his career ambitions on his page as well: "I will join the Army as an officer after college." Already, Uhl was preparing in Liberty's ROTC program.

Uhl waited until he was offline, however, to reveal his plot to kill the family of itinerant Calvinist provocateur Fred Phelps (famous for their "Fag Troops" rallies outside soldiers' funerals). The Phelpses planned to protest Falwell's funeral, a bizarre stunt designed to highlight Falwell's somehow insufficiently draconian attitude towards homosexuals. Uhl made several bombs and allegedly told a family member he planned to use them to attack the Phelps family.

He was arrested soon after and charged with manufacturing explosives.

But there is a crucial difference between Uhl and Cho: while Cho's motives remain a source of intense debate, Uhl was an a devout evangelical Christian who advocated religious violence in the name of American nationalism. Uhl's blog, featured on his Myspace page, offers a window into the political underpinnings of his bomb plot. In one post, Uhl implores Christians to die on the battlefield for "Uncle Sam." He justifies his call to arms by quoting several Biblical passages and reminding his readers that the "gift of God" is eternal life.

There you will find him extolling fellow "Christians" to go kill and die for their country, which this young man seems to have confabulated with serving God. Seeing that Uhl is but one example of dozens of classes of ROTC grads prepared with this most damnable and unchristian teaching, I have to assume that, far from being a tragic exception, he was simply acting according to the things he had learned.

Of course, those teachings demand that actions such as Phelps' be punished, that they be sought out, hunted down and killed. That is the obvious conclusion from the doctrine that is taught at Liberty U. And if you were wondering "what sort of person could commit the Haditha Massacre - well, here's an example of the sort of person that could. He had napalm bombs. Not mere Molotov Cockails, mind you, but home-made napalm with explosives to spread it over a wide area, intended to wipe out not just Fred Phelps, but his entire family. I doubt the choice of man-made "hellfire" was accidental.

I do wonder where he learned to make such weapons? It's hard to say, but surely as an ROTC student, he'd have access to documents such as "The Flaming Sword: Napalm and its Effects" a riveting discussion of the use of Napalm by the military, it's political and psychological effects - and two rather simple recipes for "Napalm A and Napalm B."

Some have argued that the “fire bomb is primarily an antipersonnel weapon.”26 So, what kind of effect does napalm have on human beings? Napalm casualties result from heat related injuries and carbon monoxide poisoning. Napalm’s adhesive qualities and high temperature of combustion usually cause third degree-burns, often burning into the muscle tissue or even the bone. Particles from the white phosphorous burster tube may contaminate the wound. The particles will continue to burn within the victim and are very difficult to remove. In addition, napalm burns cause other injuries: dehydration, heat stroke, renal failure, and shock, which may precipitate death. Victims may also succumb to heatstroke from the ambient air without any direct contact with the attack.27 An explosive aerial bomb, on the other hand, causes wounds by way of the percussive force in the blast zone, shrapnel, or debris.

Very few of these injuries precipitate a quick death. Anthony Carthew reporting for the New Republic captured the essence of the weapon when he said “The most horrible thing about napalm and white phosphorous: though the body is virtually drowned in flame, the victim tends to live.”28

Most people have a limited understanding of the sensations. It is unlikely that many people have not suffered bullet wounds or shrapnel wounds from explosives, but most people have suffered from burns at some point in their life. Therefore, people can be empathetic to a napalm burn victim. The fear of burning, and consequently napalms, is cross-cultural. As stated earlier, fear of fire caused Japanese troops to break cover in World War II. During the French Indochina War, a Vietminh officer’s diary records his experience in a napalm attack:

Immense sheets of flames, extending over hundreds of meters, it seems to strike terror in the ranks of my soldiers…The men are now fleeing in all directions and I cannot hold them back.29

Napalm’s terrifying potential made it a potent military weapon, but also a political hazard. “Indeed one of the chief military values of napalm is its terrorizing effect on its victims.”30 [emphasis mine]
A perfect weapon, both symbolically and practically speaking for a Christian Terrorist. The literal fires of Hell.
The presumption that "good Christians" can and must judge others and execute judgment upon those they find wanting has been the cornerstone of fanatical evangelical teaching for decades now, and every once in a while, some impressionable person takes the rhetoric a little more seriously than the rhetoricians do. This is the comment I added to his blog entry about going and dying for Christ.

Thank you for clearly personifying and explaining for the world the theology and world-view of "Liberty University," and what sort of brainwashed fanatical killers they are producing for the Military in the name of Christ.

Fortunately, Penetantaries have good libraries and even Internet access. It won't be terribly hard for you to find an intellectual foundation to explain how suddenly the church leadership is suddenly denying any connection to your actions, even though you were following their clear leadership and intent.

Yes, my little Christian Soldier - you are what Falwell, Dobson, Robertson, Bin Ladin and Abu-Kazowie refer to as "an expendable asset."

Fortunately for you, you had people who did not consider your pink ass expendable and took steps to save you from yourself.

Regard the next few years as "grandmotherly kindness."
I regard this incident as strongly suggestive that Liberty U's ROTC program is intended to turn out exactly the sort of officers that get good men and women killed.

To quote Patton. "Nobody ever won a war by dying for his country. You win a war by making some other poor dumb sonofabitch die for HIS country." THAT is the attitude of a soldier - to live for the cause, not to die for it. The person who is willing to die; even eager to die for a cause is a terrorist, a living "smart bomb" waiting to be expended by whatever "Dear Leader" has their frequency.

Being led into battle by a religious fanatic against religious fanatics is not what our founders had in mind when they turned their backs on Europe where such nonsense was depressingly common. This is also why they sharply separated church and state.

So also concerns me that Falwell seems to have been preparing for Cultural Warfare on a far more literal level than most would like to believe - just as was Ted Haggard, with his church's unholy alliance with the Air Force Academy. I think they have been stockpiling brownshirts in case they need to stage a coup.

In other words, I see the "Religious Leaders" of the right covertly preparing for the sort of future predicted in the "Left Behind" books - and in that other "best seller" of the "right", The Turner Diaries.

If this seems like a great deal of gold to spin from one pile of straw, let me remind you this is far from the first pile. There have been many, many indicators of this sort of creeping intolerance over the last couple of decades; language that was once only found on the websites of neo-nazi and Klan sites is now uttered by folks such as Michelle Malkin, with no apparent sense of shame.
Nor has it been the first act of fanatic violence spawned by right-wing religious and secular intolerance - if the two may be separated at all. The tragedies of Oklahoma City and Waco had at their root intolerance of dissent and fear of a secular and tolerant civilization.

Let me close with one chilling thought; if it is reasonable to topple the leadership of Iran, to invade, to bomb and kill it's citizens simply because it is led by Islamic religious fanatics who WISH to have one or two nuclear weapons, what should therefore be done when we have a nation with many hundreds, if not thousands of nuclear weapons and reliable and unstoppable delivery technology in the hands of CHRISTIAN religious fanatics?

It's important to think of these matters.

It's a very tiny step from condemning all dissenters to hell - as Robertson does, Dobson does, and Falwell did, and igniting hellfire to light their way.

It's not just those likely to do something like this that are the issue; it's those that are clearly willing to contemplate the possibility and prepare a "fifth column" within our armed forces for "The Great Day of Armageddon."

All those of a prudent nature and certainly those who take their Christianity seriously need abandon the trivia of partisan political preference, wake up and smell the napalm.

See these links for interesting comment threads:
Mark David Uhl Makes Bombs Like Jesus Made ‘Em!
The christian fundamentalist extremist domestic terrorist
Diary of a Christian Terrorist

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